CAZENOVIA – Earlier this summer, Pat Hill, a local resident and longtime educator, retired from the Cazenovia Public Library (CPL) after serving more than 20 years of both the library and its museum.
Over the years, Hill has served on the CPL museum committee, led museum tours for thousands of visitors, and worked with fellow museum educator Julia Shotzberger to develop and teach local history programs for students of second and seventh year of the Cazenovia Central School District (CCSD). She has also contributed to the research, development, writing and design of the museum’s permanent and virtual exhibits, including Fashion Takes Flight, WonderCabinet, the Egyptian Room exhibits, and a recently installed local history exhibit.
“Through Pat and Julia’s programs, our school children were able to explore the past using real objects from our museum,” said Library Director Betsy Kennedy. “The stories of the artifacts, hands-on activities and museum tours created memorable experiences for the students. Our museum educators have also created fascinating exhibits using artifacts stored for many years. Pat’s extensive research and careful writing helped make our exhibits a powerful learning experience for everyone. The library was so lucky that Pat had the dedication to find the story and present it to the public in a meaningful way. The museum is a much more important part of our services to the community and to visitors because of its hard work.
Hill has also developed and taught numerous library programs for children and adults.
The educator said that throughout her career she has always enjoyed working with children.
“I love their energy and their openness to new ideas and experiences,” she said. “And they make me laugh.”
In addition to running Art for Kids and Explorer Days alongside Children’s Education Coordinator Jenna Wright-Martin, she also developed the science-based children’s program Explore and Learn and helped coordinate the Warming Up to series. Winter.
“It was a pleasure working with Pat,” said Wright-Martin, “She has such a creative energy about her that made planning programs with her so much fun. Pat is really keen on how to present information in a way that is fun and engaging – especially in developing programming for children – so that it can be tailored to fit. at best to each unique group present. Her creativity and caring nature have been a tremendous asset to the library and the community for all these years and will be sadly missed.
Hill has designed and developed educational programs for over 35 years.
“I love the process of creating programs,” she said. “I like to learn as much as possible about a particular subject, then condense that knowledge into something that can be shared, absorbed and enjoyed by other people.”
Prior to moving to Cazenovia in 1988, Hill worked as a Marine Education Specialist for the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, CT, where she developed and taught marine science workshops and programs for students from Kindergarten to Grade 6. year and college students.
After arriving in Cazenovia, Hill served on the education committee of Stone Quarry Hill Art Park and was administrator of the park’s Adventures with Art and Nature summer education program.
In the late 1990s, she also developed the third-year pond study for CCDS, a five-part enrichment program that she taught annually until 2018.
The series consisted of four classroom sessions followed by a hands-on field study in a local pond.
“Pat has always taught with kindness and respect,” said Beth Reger, a retired third-year teacher. “At the local pond, Pat set up many stations where students could apply their [in-class] learning. She shared her expertise in such a way that the children really reflected on the nature around them. Years later, students still remember this program and speak of it as the highlight of their third grade experience. Pat Hill has been a treasure house in our community, enriching the lives of many children. Her service and commitment to our children is greatly appreciated and will be sadly missed.
Library staff celebrated Hill’s retirement with a garden party hosted by Shotzberger on June 27.
According to Kennedy, CPL’s board of directors recently planted a viburnum bush near the library’s side porch in honor of Hill.
“The Cazenovia Public Library is such a special place,” Hill said. “It has been my great privilege to work alongside such dedicated staff and see firsthand the important role of the library in the community.”
To learn more about CPL, visit cazenoviapubliclibrary.org.
Editor’s Note: Pat Hill is the mother of Cazenovia Republican reporter Kate Hill.